China, in a bid to stem the spread of the contagion, has begun the mass testing of hundreds of people who had visited a Beijing wholesale market which sparked a fresh bout of coronavirus cases even as the country reported 67 new COVID-19 infections including 42 in the capital. The market became a hotspot after it reported several new COVID-19 cases. The National Health Commission (NHC) in its daily report on Monday said that 49 new confirmed COVID-19 cases and 18 asymptomatic cases were reported on Sunday. Asymptomatic cases, also known as silent spreaders, pose a risk of spreading the disease to others. By Sunday, Beijing has reported 499 confirmed domestically-transmitted COVID-19 cases since January, including 411 who have been discharged from hospitals after recovery and nine deaths, the commission said. So far, the local government has closed six wholesale markets and made alternate arrangements for vegetable supplies to the retail stores. The Beijing local government earlier said that health workers detected the virus in 40 samples collected at Xinfadi, including from cutting boards used to prepare imported salmon. Wu Zunyou, the chief epidemiologist at the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, said that the source of the latest outbreak could be either contaminated seafood or meat from the market or a visitor or worker who contracted the virus unknowingly.
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